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The Dictionary of Australasian Biography/Browne, Sir Thomas Gore

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Browne, Sir Thomas Gore, K.C.M.G., C.B., the son of Robert Browne, of Morton House, Bucks, and brother to the late Bishop of Winchester, was born in 1807. In 1823 he entered the 28th Regiment, and for some time acted as aide-de-camp to Lord Nugent, Lord High Commissioner of the Ionian Islands, of which he was also Colonial Secretary. In 1836 he exchanged into the 41st Regiment, which he commanded as major during the Afghan campaign. He was among those who advanced to the rescue of General Nott after the massacre at Khyber Pass; and was in charge of his regiment also at Hykulzie, Candahar, Ghuznee, and Cabal. He was in command of the rear during the march through the Khyber Pass, and also at the storming of the Nik fort at Issaliff. For his services he was promoted in 1836 to a lieutenant-colonelcy, and was made a C.B. On his return to England he exchanged into the 21st Fusiliers, which he commanded until 1851, when he was made Governor of St. Helena. In 1854 he left St. Helena to become Governor of New Zealand at the critical time when the Home Government had decided to grant the colony responsible government. It was during Colonel Gore Browne's tenure of office that the settlers' difficulties with the Maoris came to a head in New Zealand. A certain party among the natives had met what they considered the encroachments of the English with the establishment of a king, and the refusal to sell their lands. In the Waitara district a native named Teira offered, however, to sell a block; and the Governor, who had determined that a strong front was necessary in dealing with the Maoris, insisted upon buying, despite the opposition of Wiremu Kingi and the King party. This was the origin of the Taranaki war; but it was hardly begun when the Home Government, finding itself on the verge of the precipice, recalled Sir George Grey from the Cape to replace Colonel Browne, who was removed to Tasmania, taking office on Dec. 10th, 1861. On Dec. 30th, 1868, he resigned the Governorship of Tasmania, was created K.C.M.G., and in 1870 was appointed Governor of the Bermudas, retiring on a pension in 1871. He married, in 1851, a daughter of James Campbell, of Craigie. Sir Thomas Gore Browne, who died on April 17th, 1887, was a member of the New Zealand Commission in London for the Colonial and Indian Exhibition of 1886.